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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Are there polite "PRIVATE PROPERTY" signs?
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# Posted: 1 Dec 2018 23:46 - Edited by: KinAlberta

Ours is a vacation/weekend property so we aren’t there to monitor it and enforce the rules. As my father used to say: No Trespassing signs just keep the good people out.

So rather than putting up negative signs that some people know they can ignore, I’d rather use nice signs. Best case, the bad people may fear being spotted by the good people.

Not sure if this applies in any way to property signage but is interesting.

Graffiti and litter lead to more street crime | New Scientist

Keizer says that the research is the first to explain and demonstrate experimentally the “broken windows theory”, but he adds that it would be a mistake to see it as vindication of “zero-tolerance” policies, like those deployed to clean up New York in the mid-1990s.

Zero-tolerance policies can be counterproductive, he says, because people simply see them as declaration of war and carry on offending.

Geraldine Pettersson, a consultant in London who co-authored a 2003 report on graffiti for the UK Department of Transport agreed. “You make it sound like a battle, and it becomes a challenge to them,” she says. “ rime/

# Posted: 2 Dec 2018 13:35 - Edited by: silverwaterlady

After having people trespass and do illegal things on our property we stopped being nice about our signage.

# Posted: 2 Dec 2018 21:17 - Edited by: KinAlberta

Quoting: silverwaterlady

After having people trespass and do illegal things on our property we stopped being nice about our signage.

We had friends staying at our cabin and the accidentally walked into a neighbouring farm property across the road from the farm house. (Just bush and forest there, no animals, fence is probably long down... so sort of an innocent mistake.

Apparently the wife came out and rather rudely told them to get off her property. That’s twice now in 10 or 15 years for the same friends and the same lady. She must sit there monitoring the road. Anyway, that’s her right and my friends were in the wrong. Being rude though isn’t acceptable.

Coincidentally the farm couple’s son lives in the subdivision backing into our property and a couple years ago asked for permission to keep hunting on our property. We told him no because we had some shooting issues that year and another neighbour not happy about a moose being shot and left near the subdivision.

I don’t really care now if the guy hunts on the property but if he asks again I may mention his mother’s rude treatment of my friends. Maybe I can get a Hatfield and McCoy thing going.

Tit for tat, add in some good old escalation, go all rude and zero tolerance towards average people and post some pictures of gun barrels etc.

# Posted: 22 Feb 2019 19:08 - Edited by: KinAlberta

Interesting article:

“Foreign hikers are angering Norwegians by leaving behind garbage “

“Is it just tourists who leave behind rubbish?” I asked. “Or Norwegians too?”

“It’s really the tourists who take advantage of allemansratten,” he said. “Norwegians know better. We were raised on fjellvettreglene.”

“The rules are simple: you can sleep anywhere as long as you stay at least 150m away from the nearest residency, and if you sleep more than two nights in the same place, you must ask the landowner’s permission. Most important, though, ...

Norway is not the only country to practice this ‘right to roam’ law. Other countries include Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Latvia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. What separates Norway from the rest, however, is...”

“... “People want the same picture they see on Instagram and Facebook. A lot don’t care about the experience of the hike. They just want proof that they did it, and they’re ruining the nature up here with their garbage.” “
“Used toilet paper, leftover barbeque grills, abandoned tents, sweet wrappers and plastic bottles can be found littered all around Trolltunga. Someone even wrote their name on the cliff in black pen.”

BBC - Travel - Why Norway is teaching travellers to travel
By Shannon Dell
16 October 2017

# Posted: 22 Feb 2019 22:10 - Edited by: ICC

BBC has lots of interesting articles. Sometimes it is great to read about things from a different perspective.

Whiskey Jack
# Posted: 1 Mar 2019 22:25

My personal favourite for a sign comes from an old Forgotten Realms novel. "Trespassers Will Be Polymorphed."
Not everyone reading it would understand though.

# Posted: 5 Mar 2019 13:38 - Edited by: Gone2TheCamp

It's very interesting to see the differences in feelings towards land use.
In this area, you're pretty much always on SOMEBODY's land. Experience tells me that people usually leave their land open and accessible....and I'm not talking about a couple acres with a house or camp on it. Most people don't care if people ride their ATV down a woods road, assuming there's already some sort of a trail there already.

I used to ride my ATV a lot, now have switched to a dual sport motorbike. I love exploring...and I take every little road/lane/trail that I see...just to see what's in there, and possibly it connects to another trail or leads to a lake, etc etc. If there's a sign, a civic number, or a gate, I stay out. If there's not, I presume that whoever owns the land is okay with people respectfully using their land.

I've ended up at a million camps/ soon as I see the building, I stop and determine if there's anyone there. If it seems deserted, I turn around where I stopped. If there's any indication of someone there, I ride in slowly and stop in the yard and wait for some sort of contact. I find it rude to turn and's almost like I'm admitting I got caught doing something wrong. Usually a good chat about fishing, motorcycles, or something else begins. I always try to work in "Nice spot you have here..." and also a comment that I also have a cabin, etc. If they DO have any doubts about my intentions, knowing that I also have a camp gives us some common ground and lets them know that I am not the person that's going to break in, or destroy anything. If I took their road looking to see if I could access something I knew was there (fishing spot, possible camping spot, connect to another trail...) I'll explain what it was that I was looking for, and at that point I'll either be given directions on how to get there, be given permission to use their land to get there, or be told it's private and they would rather not have people in there. Whatever the answer is, I thank them very much for the information and apologize for popping in uninvited. I have never had one of those encounters end on a negative note..and most end with "Drop in for a coffee the next time you're in..."
I've run into several folks that started off the conversation obviously irritated...that generally comes from others tearing roads up, throwing litter around, catching all the trout in the river, etc. I make sure to let them know that I'm not a ripper/tearer, I don't ride anywhere that's soft and would damage the trail, and when I do fish I always catch and release, so I can hopefully catch them again next year.
That's happened in the jeep, on the ATV, and on the motorbike. To this day I have never had anyone ask me to leave, and most offer access, a place to park the bike if I want to fish, and even tell you to just open the gate and come on in the next time.

The river I fish is usually knee-to-waist deep, but in some places it's cut in banks or deep deadwaters that you can't wade...there are some camps and cottages along the river, and if I have to cut across a lawn or something, I hope there's someone there so I can say hello. They'll always say "Sure, no problem!" They also know that having someone with good intentions being visible moving around near their cabin is never a bad thing.
Plus, people along a river like that know that they can't stop me anyway (6' right of way along the bank) but I've never had to argue..I figure they know it's going to happen, and someone can either be the guy that waves and says hello, or the guy that just does it because he knows he has the right to, landowner be damned...

I get that people worked hard to own their land...I'm just thankful that I live in an area that those people are generally willing to share that land, provided their hospitality isn't taken advantage of.

I was at a big camping spot by the river, it's owned by somebody, but it's not improved, people camp there all the time, park to go fishing, etc. For the record, there are no signs, gates, cables... I had come back from an afternoon of Saturday fishing and was picking up some beer cans left behind by the last campers. Just down the trail was a group of young folks unloading firewood and coolers, getting ready for a night of partying. One of them came over to talk to me...this is how a Canadian trespassing conversation goes...haha
"Hi, do you own this land?" (Presumably because I was picking up garbage)
"No, I's a great little spot, ehh? I used to camp here a lot when I was younger"
"Sure is...I'll make sure we keep the noise down so we don't bother you."
"I'm not staying so have at 'er, that's the nice thing about down here, you won't bother anybody."
"Awesome..and don't worry, we'll make sure we clean everything up before we leave."

And that's so much nicer than setting traps and shooting people...

Now...there's other a warming shelter on an ATV trail, and someone burns it down the next day, come to an agreement for the ATV club to use the outer edge of your blueberry field to connect to another trail, and some dipshit will cut the fence JUST to ride into the blueberry field and do donuts...

I dunno...I'm just thinking out loud...and yeah, it's not helpful at all to the OP's question, but maybe it'll let people know that there's still places where most people are fairly content to assume the best in people and as a result, the average Joe gets to enjoy exploring, camping and fishing with his kids and teach them about life, nature, and respect.

And, if you're one of those people that have a local attraction on your land, or a trail that people use, and you've chosen to keep allowing access to it...a big thank you from me.

# Posted: 31 May 2020 19:56

The fine print under the photo asks if the no trespassing makes the no hunting redundant.

Redundant Signage Along the Bruce Trail | Pic Of The Day


# Posted: 31 May 2020 23:32

Problem with trespassers is when they get hurt on your property, then to to the doctor, they always inquire as to where it happened and then the insurance company against the injured wishes will try to recoup medical cost by suing the land owner. Its an absolute shame how trip-n-fall lawyers ruin lots of things for lots of people. So to protect themselves, they just let no one in.

This can even happen when you have family there having fun and one kid gets hurt.

I purchased insurance from the NWOA to protect me for just this. It wont cover any injury, just protects me from a lawsuit. Otherwise, I would have no issues with a hunter passing through without leaving a trace. I have 40 acres, half is fully fenced and soon, the rest will be fully fenced. The full boundary is marked, you can not walk up to my property line without seeing one of the no trespassing signs. Not wanting to be a jerk, but too late in life to try to start over from losing it all.

# Posted: 1 Jun 2020 18:19

Yeah, I just ordered 10 No Hunting / Trespassing signs for along a back road.

I’ll probably now have to post a few more No Trespassing signs along the shoreline, as this past winter someone came off the lake and cut down a couple large spruce. (Trees that I’d have never given the ok to cut down due to their location near our cabin and where beavers have stripped near everything else.) Whoever did it took everything so they likely dragged them away branches and all so it wasnt obvious until this spring. I’ll have to walk around to see if other trees have been taken.

# Posted: 1 Jun 2020 21:40

In our neck of the woods (in Eastern Ontario, but even that's too broad, since there's lots of variation).

1. Lots but not all landowners put up "No trespassing" signs, or red dots which is equivalent, at least on obvious entry points and sometimes along their whole property line.

2. While it's not exactly neighbourly, it's not really an aggressive act either. Away from the big cottage lakes, land is a patchwork of privately owned, sometimes by people who really don't care, and public (Crown) land. So a "No trespassing" sign carries real informative value, especially for a clueless visitor who may be confused where they are or blithely assume that this little wood is Crown Land just like that one.

3. In addition, the duty of care (liability for risks) is lower towards trespassers than towards allowed visitors, so lots of landowners and their insurance companies feel better not allowing access and being clear about it. The regulatory framework changed a bit a few decades ago to make landowners less liable for accidents to nonpaying but not unauthorized visitors, but it's not a slam dunk and old habits die hard.

4. Some people put up U.S.-style signs, like "posted private property" or semi-humorous we-shoot-trespassers-up ones. Terms like "posted" don't actually legally mean anything in our context, and you'd better be in immediate danger of your life before you actually pull a gun on someone, trespasser or not, so people using these signs are probably not that well informed - but perhaps their land gets treated with more respect, since no-one knows whether they haven't watched a few too many U.S. Westerns and would act accordingly!

5. Everybody you talk to seems to know somebody who had a bit of crime problem, but no-one (in our neighbourhood) ever seems to be that somebody. Seems by and large it's mostly overzealous hunting -- hunters who just couldn't resist even though they surely knew they shouldn't -- and opportunistic timber theft. Sure, burglary happens, but there's enough snazzy lakefront cottages a 20 min dive away, many abandoned during the week and the off-season, that a would-be thief has to be pretty desperate to go looking for a hidden, off-grid cabin.

# Posted: 3 Jun 2020 23:51

Sorry if this is a repost ,I did read several pages of this thread and had not seen it mentioned .Anyways ,have you considered putting up signs like “skunk farm” or “rattlesnake farm “ .We did that at our family camp on Manitoulin in the ‘70’s and had no trouble after .

# Posted: 7 Jun 2020 13:43

My gate from across the street. There was a No Trespassing sign on the gate when I bought, and I hung it back up when I built the new gate.

On one hand, I guess it provides some liability? On the other, perhaps it tells people 'no one is here'. It's a busy street for cars at times, business and locals during the week, tourists on weekends. And bicyclists. No foot traffic, no sidewalks, 45mph. There are gated houses every 1/4 mile or so, most also not visible. I think I am the only one with a no trespass sign. Maybe time to take it down?

Thoughts? Sorry about the blurry photo. My lens is scratched from being in a pocket full of dirt half the time.

# Posted: 7 Jun 2020 14:48 - Edited by: KinAlberta

These all seem civil enough:

“Use Dock At Own Risk“

Use Dock At Own Risk,

No Shooting,

Do Not Block Gate,

OHVs Are Prohibited,

Foot Access Only/With Permission,

No Unauthorized Vehicles,

No Driving In Fields,

No Driving Off Main Trail,

Use Respect/Landowner Permission,

Use Respect/Foot Access Only,

Use Respect/Lease Holder Permission...

Use Respect – Ask First...”

There are a photo samples of the signs shown at the bottom of this link:

Alberta Conservation Association 2017/18 Project

Summary Report

Project Name: Conservation Site Signs


In 2017/18, signs were produced for twenty-two conservation sites: ...

We produced signs for eleven Enhanced Fish Stocking Sites: ...

In addition, specialty signs were produced for Angler Surveys, Abrupt Drop Off, Use Dock At Own Risk, No Shooting, Do Not Block Gate, OHVs Are Prohibited, Foot Access Only/With Permission, No Unauthorized Vehicles, No Driving In Fields, No Driving Off Main Trail, Use Respect/Landowner Permission, Use Respect/Foot Access Only, Use Respect/Lease Holder Permission, Gouin Trail Access, and Gouin Permission.

Onsite signage is key to end-user ACA brand recognition, sponsor and landowner recognition, proper site use and restriction notification, and on-the-ground promotion of Report A Poacher and “Use Respect – Ask First” initiatives. Conservation site signs were printed in a timely manner to coincide with seasonal installations and also on-demand needs. _2017_2018_conservation_site_signs.pdf

# Posted: 7 Jun 2020 15:05 - Edited by: KinAlberta

I’d imagine most provinces and states have similar programs:

“ Participants in this program are acknowledged with a project sign and provided with Use Respect – Ask First signage to display along the perimeter of their property.”

Landowner Habitat Program - ACA

Landowner Habitat Program

Alberta’s ecosystems continue to shrink as our human footprint grows with development. Biodiversity is often the first casualty of increased and expanding development with habitat 2 alteration and wetland loss. The northern parts of the province have seen the most changes over the past decade. Approximately two-thirds of the province (62%) has been altered by industrial or agricultural development. Urban and rural development have also contributed to habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation. The Landowner Habitat Program (LHP) was initiated to help conserve key habitat and reduce habitat loss on privately owned land. The program compensates landowners who are willing to sign a legally binding agreement to retain habitat for a term of five to 20 years; a condition of the agreement is for landowners to provide reasonable public foot access. Participants in this program are acknowledged with a project sign and provided with Use Respect – Ask First signage to display along the perimeter of their property. We currently manage 33 LHP agreements across the province, which conserves approximately 5,789 acres (2,342.8 ha) of important wildlife and fish habitat.”

Bolding is mine

# Posted: 7 Jun 2020 16:44 - Edited by: KinAlberta

Still a nice example:
(Link seems to have changed since I first posted)

In case the link goes dead:

(image of a circle containing a walker using a walking stick)
All other uses prohibited
Please stay on blazed trail”

Note: last two lines are also caps but smaller font size and the last line is black background with white font)

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